By now the results of the American election is taking shape as the polls closed 24 hours ago . The celebrations around the world for the winners will sing the same tune; centre right parties will celebrate with the republicans as center left parties will celebrate with the Democrats. In Ghana, (a country that has voted the same political philosophy as the Americans have done for 6 election cycles spanning 24 years since 1992 as they vote in the same election year)the reactions to American elections will be as interesting as it will be ironic.
The two main parties in Ghana (will be competing against each other barely a month after the American election in presidential and parliamentary elections) have been fashioned according to the two dominant political philosophies that emerged as a consequence of the end of the cold war: the centre right from the hitherto right wing and the centre left from the hitherto communist socialist philosophy. Thus the opposition new patriotic party is thought to be a centre rightist party whilst the ruling NDC proclaims itself to be of a centre leftist ideology. In fact, the NPP actually shares the same symbol as the Republican Party in the United States, the elephant.
The point of observation though is that Ghanaians approach their choices of American politicians with what appears to be a total disregard of their political allegiance at home. So it’s common to find a staunch believer in the NDC ideology vociferously shouting the Republican slogan and vice versa.
The worrying signal is whether the youth and college students are being trained to understand political ideology. Part of the problem may be that both leading parties have pursued similar economic and social policies that may have blurred the identical distinction.
Also, it may well be , that because the right wing Bretton Woods institutions have run the local economic policy framework over the last 30 years or so, the leading parties and their ideological manifestos have played second fiddle to the instructions of the IMF and world Bank and thus eliminated any possible discussion or debate about ideology.
The American establishment seems to have fully recognised the ideological divide in Ghana and have played related to our country on such clear basis. The loudest expression of this observation is the periods of the state visits of American Presidents to Ghana.
There have been 3 formal state visits to Ghana since independence including bill Clinton in 1998. Clinton came as the first ever US president to visit Ghana when the centre left NDC was in power under JJ Rawlings. Bill Clinton is Democrat and thus centre left.
The next state visit was by Republican President George W. Bush and he visited when J.A. Kuffour of the centre right NPP was president.
It is unusual for American Presidents to visit an African country twice in two years .But this happened to Ghana, a year after the visit of George Bush , in came Barack Obama to visit and be hosted by JEA Mills of the center left NDC.
So it seems as though the Americans recognise our political divide along ideological lines but our society appears to have developed political allegiance with some other denominators.
Hopefully such basis should not be harmful to national development and create unhealthy divisions but the most important driver could be the re-opening of political discourse at the family, school, and work levels on the basis of political ideology.
Hopefully one day very soon, our government will be able to pursue a development agenda that is owned by their ideology so it becomes easier to choose a party or their manifesto when another Dec 7th approaches. Maybe we should expect another American President soon, if she wins, I can bet that Hillary Clinton will come if it’s John Mahama and yes Donald Trump will come if he gets elected and Akufo is elected too. Amen.
WATCH VIDEO BELOW:
Credit to: Paul Adom-Otchere / GhanaSky.com / Accra24.com